Tony Selznick, scion of the legendary Hollywood Selznick family, has been in the business of dance and choreography for more than 30 years. In his role as Founder and Senior Agent at McDonald Selznick Associates (established in 2000), Tony has been instrumental in the career development of some of the most sought-after film, television and stage choreographers in the world. Working with his partner Julie McDonald (who is the original pioneer agent in the dance world), together they have helped their clients bring movement to life in popular culture. MSA is proud of the fact that many of their clients have transitioned from dancer to choreographer, to creative director/ stage director on shows like Cirque Du Soliel, and now to executive producer of some of televisions highest rated shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and NBC’s new dance show WORLD OF DANCE.
Tony’s devotion to dance started early. My brother Albie took me to my first dance class when I was 14, he says. I was a typical teenager scared of dance and thought that I had better face my fear. After a few classes with my teacher, Russell Clark, I began to excel, and within a few years I was teaching classes. Tony’s classes became packed and he remained a teacher in Los Angeles for 15 years. I felt that I was a good teacher because I wasn’t a born dancer and had to learn literally one step at a time. This gave me the ability to teach other non-dancers. Tony’s first big break was as a dancer in the 1980 motion picture Xanadu starring the legendary dancer-choreographer Gene Kelly (choreographed by MSA client, Kenny Ortega and Russell Clark). After numerous appearances in music videos, television shows and feature films, he began choreographing. At age 21, he became the associate choreographer to his mentor, the late Russell Clark, on Steven Bochco’s critically acclaimed television show Cop Rock. In 1993 Tony was the dance casting director for the nationally syndicated show Star Search. In 1994, Tony created Winners Dance Competition, a national talent search performance event that discovered promising young dancers and gave them a chance to secure professional talent representation. In 1995, he expanded the competition to Japan. Additionally, he co-executive produced and co-directed the First Annual American Choreography Awards. In 2009 Tony was asked by his friend Simon Fuller to be the American Judge on Superstars of Dance, NBC’s first international dance competition. In 2008 Tony, along with business partner Julie McDonald, were consultants for Magical Elves series Step It Up and Dance on Bravo and for Live to Dance on CBS, featuring Paula Abdul. In 2014 Tony created DANCEAMATIC a digital ecosystem designed to give the global dance community a vehicle for discovery. The platform was created by Tony and Jason Galoob. They not only created the first platform of its kind, but because of Tony’s agency MSA, they were able to sign the biggest influencers in the dance space and now MSA boasts the only dance “Influencer” client roster of its kind. In 2016 Tony created THE CAMP with master educator Mark Meismer, which is a summer program for the aspiring professional dancer. Students participate in a week long program where they take exclusive workshops and master classes with MSA’s established clients. The whole experience is documented by MSA’s roster of Youtube Directors. In 2017 Tony sold a scripted drama about the music industry to E! called THE FACTORY written by Alex Sabeti. Tony’s partners in this endeavor is MSA Client Jamie King and mega music producer, Randy Jackson. In 2018 E! bought a dance reality show (called DANCE DYNASTY) created by Tony. The show was co-produced by Randy Jackson.
Tony’s ultimate dream is to utilize the legacy of MSA and develop Intellectual Properties with his clients. Projects like THE FACTORY and DANCE DYNASTY are direct results of his aspiration to take his agency and his clients to a new level and to once again change the game in the dance industry. What’s next? Tony is currently developing a dance game show with Dance Moms creator Jeff Collins at Catalina Content.
Tony has another pride and joy – his two beautiful daughters Violet Selznick and Scarlet Selznick.